A vendor is any business or sole trader engaged in the sale of vaping devices, e-liquid and accessories. This can be through dedicated premises, concession stand, or through e-commerce. Dependent on additional activities a vendor might also be considered a producer, which entails additional obligations under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (2016), and General Product Safety Regulations (2005). Under General Product Safety Regulations, a vendor is referred to as a distributor, and is defined as a professional in the supply chain whose activities do not affect the safety of the product. A vendor/distributor cannot manufacture or import products without taking the responsibilities of the producer.
A distributor’s responsibilities under General Product Safety Regulations are that they should act with due care and must not supply products which as a professional he knows or should have presumed to be dangerous. They should maintain records, as far as possible, to enable unsafe products to be traced back to their origins. This is only applicable within the limits of his activity. The requirement could be viewed as an obligation for a distributor to maintain the chain that enables tracing of products.
It should be noted that enforcement action by an enforcement authority concerning the maintenance of records would only be contemplated if there is a safety issue with the product.
Under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations no additional constraints are placed on vendors/distributors beyond the restrictions of selling compliant product that has been duly notified by the producer.